Fly Like an Eagle

Cory General Leave a Comment

This morning marked the end to a spectacular 6 week journey in India – including my first full month being right alongside my teacher each and every day in the Mysore room. It was awesome. I practiced under his guidance and care, I observed him teaching others with tailoring and care, I worked to draw from that expertise as I offered assistance, and I listened with all the focused attention available each day as he wove the discipline and philosophy of yoga into the many textured fabric that it is.

Today, as we breathed and moved through our last practice together – led primary – accompanying David’s voice there were three classic tunes that continually looping through my mind:  “Ride Like the Wind”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, and “Fly Like an Eagle”.

In third grade my best friend Cindy and I used to spend many a recess on the swings side-by-side swaying back-and-forth through the air. And as I remember it, we sang “Fly Like and Eagle” at the top of our lungs.

Fly like an eagle, into the sea.

Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me.

Oh, I want you to fly like an eagle, into the sea.

Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me.

I’m not sure these are the correct lyrics, but they’re what I recall us singing. Nine-year old kids, carefree and singing while we flew through the air. It’s such a happy, wholesome memory – a feeling that I can tap into to this day.

That year our teacher called my parents in for a conference. I was a very good student all the way through grade school, rarely missing anything and often praised by my teachers. I’m not sure why, it’s part of my karmic make-up, to do everything I can to please my teacher. I have always wanted to make them proud, to be the best I can be. So, when Mrs. Beltz called my parents in, I’m pretty sure we all assumed it was for some positive reason. But, I remember that day and I remember hearing my parents discussing their meeting with her. I don’t think they knew I overheard them – and I’m not sure we’ve ever talked about it. Maybe we did.

Mrs. Beltz was concerned. Concerned because I was spending too much time with the girls. To this day I wonder, what did she say? Was there innuendo that I might be gay? Or did she come right out and speculate aloud? I don’t know. What I do know is that my parents stood up for me. They told her they did not share her concern and that they did not want any action taken.

Where I’m from, many of us waste a lot of energy and incur a great deal of stress because we worry about what others think of us – what we do, what we say, how we look, who we associate with, where we live, what we drive, what our children do, the list goes on and on…. It’s a debilitating affliction. Its hold runs deep. To this day it is a factor that still has some grips on me.

So, this morning, as I moved through practice, with these lyrics and the peaceful easy wind-lifted feeling would come into my being, it was such a joyful, welcome, comforting, enabling support and release. Actively going into my body and feeling the rushing lift of wind energy course through me.

It reminded me of something DG talked about over the course of this month – the Yoga Sutra teaching that avidya – ignorance – is the root root cause of our pain. And further that one of the ways this pain comes about is through our grasping ego driven need to find permanence in what is inherently impermanent. The body being a prime example of this confusion. It is changing moment to moment, dynamically active even in stillness, limited in its actual duration and intimately composed of the elements of earth, fire, water, space and air – wind energy! So, when we get a glimpse of the freedom that comes from cognizing these elements within us it is truly a gift, a revelation, one that we can cultivate through practice, surrender to and fly like an eagle – ride like the wind!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *